Localization is the process of modifying products or services to account for differences in distinct markets.
At Lemoine International, we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive and reliable software localization service. We go far beyond correct linguistic rendering. Our software specialists guarantee that our clients’ software will be fully functional, in any language.
Localization involves the adaptation (localization) of all functions and features of a product or service that is needed for a product to be sold or used in another market. This is especially true for both technical and business functions within organizations. This practice crosses all disciplines: sales, marketing, manufacturing, accounting, support, and human resources. While there is overlap between translation and localization, localization generally addresses significant, non-textual components of products or services in addition to strict translation. Localization commonly addresses the following issues:
- Linguistics Issues: Almost any products or service that will be sold to individuals who do not speak the language in which it was created will require linguistic adaptation.
- Physical issues: Beyond translation, localization often involves physical modifications to products or services in order to make them acceptable in the local market. These changes can represent substantial time and cost.
- Business and cultural issues: local business and cultural issues can affect all aspects of product design and localization. Local currencies and accounting conventions must be supported. Local address and telephone number formats need to be supported, and even the format of names must be appropriate to the target market.
- Technical issues: Supporting local languages may require special attention and planning at the engineering stage. For example, support for East Asian languages that requires thousands of characters requires special design and attention. Other languages, such as Arabic and Hebrew, are written from right to left, requiring the adaptation of user interfaces and the use of special text - handling routines in software. Other issues include the order in which text is supported (e.g., in Norwegian, the letter a follows z, while an English speaker would expect z to appear after a), date formats, and the separators used in numbers. Provision must also be made to allow input of text in the local language. If these technical issues are not considered beginning with the early stages of project development, they will add substantially to the expense and time required to localize a product.